Hurt caused by cancellation of two Christmas School Holidays

From: judith monteiro <>
Date: Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Subject: Joint Letter from Christian Community groups expressing hurt & objection to cancellation of 2 Christmas holidays
To: R R Bhise (EO)

 Dear Mr Bhise,This is with ref to the news items in the media regd ‘4 day school vacation this Ganeshotsav”

While we appreciate the sentiments behind the decision to declare the same & are happy for our Hindu brethren, WE, Catholic community groups – Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Catholics for Preservation of Faith (CPF) & Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF) would like to express our hurt at the decision of the Education dept to adjust the same against the Christmas Vacation.

In a statement issued in a publication (TOI) you have been quoted as saying “We haven’t declared new holidays but adjusted 2 holidays from the Christmas vacation, December 23 & 31”. This is a gross injustice to the Catholic-Christian Community & to our Institutions at large at the same time it appears to be an unjust targeting of a minority community

We feel betrayed by the dept. It is sad that the Education dept which is supposed to set an example of equality, justice, etc in the young minds is not only being unfair but setting an open example of disparity. We fail to understand how the Dept can bring happiness to one community while depriving another. The Catholic-Christian community is also an integral part of Mumbai & India & while the pledge in our schools claims “all Indians are my brothers & sisters”, we feel the department is giving our Community the step-child treatment.

We fail to understand the need to cancel the holidays from the Christmas vacation list. If the dept is increasing the holidays this weekend, surely the dept could have left it to the wisdom of the school authorities to adjust the working days at their discretion. Perhaps they can adjust against their weekly holiday?  Besides, is the Education Department going to be ruled & dictated to by Political Parties, immaterial of which one it is? Today, it is one, tomorrow another. Do the School authorities not have a say in the matter of the running of their schools?

We would like you to consider the foll:

·  Most of the ABE schools are in the premises of the respective Church, as Christmas service is on 24th night, cancellation of 23rd dec holiday gives our Religious no time to concentrate on preparations for the Eucharistic celebration. Will your decision be fair

·  India is rich in its family values & cultures, where festivals are celebrated with extended family members (grandparents/relatives). With Christmas service on 24th night & school on till the previous day, how will families be able to travel to celebrate the festival if required

·  The injustice towards the sentiments of one community festival as against another

·  The liturgical calendar of the catholic community celebrates 1st Jan as the Community New Year universally, will it be fair to cancel the31st dec holiday?

·  Are Catholics-Christians in Mumbai not Mumbaikars? Then why is the community being targeted – just because it is a minority community?

Keeping the above in mind, We call upon your good office to reverse the cancellation of the Christmas vacation dates of 23 & 31 dec & to be fair to the Catholic Community & Catholic Institutions at large

We seek an  Urgent appointment with your good office to discuss the issue as also other issues affecting our schools

On behalf of the Community groups

judith monteiro

Secretary – AOCC
c.c. : Chief Minister, Maharashtra

         Deputy Director of Education

        Minorities Commission – Minister,  President , Vice President

        Archbishop of Mumbai


       concerned media  


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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12 Responses to Hurt caused by cancellation of two Christmas School Holidays

  1. Pedro Manuel says:

    What has the knight in shinning armour of the Archdiocese of Mumbai have to stay or is he locked up in all property deals.

    • Remember Pedro, the Knight in the shining armour once told me that he only oversees pastoral work of the Archdiocese. A very easy and convenient way to get out. I believe we have a incompetent knight.

  2. There are many groups/associations ?? claiming to be the true representatives of the Catholic/Christian community; and every now and again, each one lets out some squeak in protest about some issue or other. As is usual, the archbishop’s office sits back and smiles, since when there is so much diversity in protest, there can never be unity, so the big wigs in the archdiocese are in no peril of their authority being brought to book,hence they just let all these (splinter) groups shout as they deem fit, from the rooftops, all to no effect as to changing the rotten situation that actually happily exists in the governance of the Church and its properties/matters.
    In this particular matter, about a holiday being cancelled, it certainly would have made more sense of credibility if the official representatives of the archdiocese, made a protest about this holiday business.
    Let us thank God that we have a sort of democracy in India; and not a rule where the minority religions have no place or rights. This, as I predict, will change if the saffron brigade comes to power next year; then it will be too late; the stupid people, Catholics of Goa, are already realising this.
    So my dear noise makers, please leave the official representatives of our Church to do their job in objecting to the numerous injustices; if they do not, as is likely, then put pressure on them to do so.
    OR ELSE JUST SUFFER IN SILENCE AS AN UNWANTED MINORITY COMMUNITY, who are recognised/wanted only when it suits the convenience of the majority; this is fact !!!!

    • Hello fergus, In matters of administration, its better that the people get involved, the AB House will do little or nothing, and as you say they will hide. We have the weakest administration in the archdiocese of Bombay, of course when the captain is incompetent, the ship will never reach its destination.

      However let he hasten to say, in matters of church property, assets and finance, they are on top of the board.

      Its up us the laity to stand up and demand accountability,transparency from the administration.
      You may have read how the Italian mafia operates.

      Its a shame that we have such a incompetent captain.

    • What could be the reason for newer groups to spring up have the old groups failed or are they cut out only to collect money and give gifts?

    • Jessy J T says:

      Hi, just read all the answers. Its right that if our leaders does not open up then its us who have to take it in our hands. Even i have to suffer in our office as they do not give leave on Good Friday, Christmas and New Year, and if we take holiday then our salary is deducted. Its too painful to see that we being minorities are always targeted. I think if our higher authorities does not open up, then its high time that we start taking and let India and Mumbai know we are Indian’s. and we belong here.

  3. Why are they tinkering around with Catholic schools, institutions and the community in general. In case they believe we are a soft target please ask them to com out in the open and say so, we will give then a befitting legal response.
    I hope the ABE and The Archbishop of Bombay will stand for the community.

  4. Dear Gordon, I wish you well but you have high hopes, what to do ?? it is proven that we have a BLIND,DEAF, and DUMB boss of the archdiocese; and advisor to the Pope to boot also; so he will care two hoots about all your protests regards

    • Fergus, its up to us the people of the church to give them sight, get them to hear, and teach them to speak.If not we may need to take a hard stand. of course its always good to have hopes and I will continue to strive for the same, come what may.

  5. Hey Gordon; I know your intentions are good. One always judges a horse by his past track record and state of fitness. With the present “langda” guy who is also blind, deaf and dumb do you think there is any hope ????

  6. The latest “making provision for a comfy retirement” is the Examiner Press Building ” LAFDA”

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